Adoption; The Humane Choice

It is the primary mission of every animal refuge to find a loving home for cats and dogs in desperate need of one. Could it be possible that your home is that loving home? Even a very comfortable shelter is no substitute for a warm home and an adoring family. While a responsible shelter that follows the policies of The Humane Society sees that all their animals are satisfactorily supplied for, these precious animals really need a safe and loving forever home with a pet parent who can give them the care and attention only a best friend can provide. As compassionate and competent as a shelter’s chosen volunteers may be, only a full time family can give an animal the necessary tender loving care such a social creature deserves.

This Is Why You Should Adopt

There are so many valid reasons to adopt a pet. This infographic will give you ten wonderful reasons to get your next pet at a shelter. The following reasons will hopefully convince you to help an animal in need by being a kind and responsible companion. An adoption counselor will work with you to help you find the perfect furry friend for life.

Adopting a dog from a shelter allows them to better look after the many more displaced animals that need their attention. Please, don’t support the kitten and puppy mills that exploit vulnerable animals. Save your money and a defenseless animal’s life by adopting. You may also persuade your family and friends to adopt. The more people who adopt pets, the fewer strays there are aching for a loving home. You’ll not only be helping an animal, you’ll be helping yourself by opening yourself to the experience of loving a creature who takes you just as you are.

Shelter Pets Are Good Pets!

Due to fostering and caring volunteers, shelter animals are socialized to accept that people are friends. These animals want more than anything to be your friend. On the occasion a shelter does get an animal with health or behavior problems, they should do all they can to solve this issue. Many people looking for a pet may have a preference for a pure breed. However, mixed-breeds tend to be more vigorous and long-lived, thus often displaying the best traits of all the breeds they’re descended from. Shelter animals get proper veterinary care, including spaying or neutering. As adorable as puppies and kittens are, it’s better for everyone if the population is kept in check.

People Who Adopt Pets Are Gracious And Magnanimous People!

America prides itself on being the land of the free, but its streets are no place for a dog or cat to roam about with no food, shelter or protection. We are a great nation because the people who live here are kind, charitable and benevolent. Won’t you please express your good will by adopting a cat or dog in need today? The animals and the people who care for them will thank you.

Preparing Pets for Hurricanes

Too many times we see pets abandoned during weather-related disasters and with yet another Hurricane possibly headed our way (Irma), Petplan pet insurance wants to remind responsible pet parents to be aware of these simple tips to keep their pets safe and sound.

The Basics

Before the Storm: Keep calm and prepare. Pets can sense barometric pressure changes, so ease worry by speaking in a reassuring voice and distracting pets with games, toys and natural calming remedies.

In the Thick of It: Take shelter and keep pets inside—do not let them out in your yard off-leash! Stock up on puppy pads for an indoor bathroom solution. If you evacuate, make sure your dogs have ID tags and cats are in crates.

Aftermath: Proceed with caution. Pets can become injured or ill from breathing toxic generator fumes, drinking dirty water or eating spoiled food.

Hurricane Evacuation Kit Checklist for Pets (click here for info on each item)

  • Pet carrier
  • Medication for two weeks
  • Food and water for one week
  • Two slip leashes
  • Printed and electronic copies of medical history
  • Identification and contact information
  • Take a photo of your pet before you leave your home
  • Litter, piddle pads and trash bags
  • Shampoo, brush, towels
  • Plenty of patience

No one plans on a natural disaster disrupting his or her lives. What you can prepare for is how you’ll respond when the crisis occurs. Good luck, be safe, and may we all be pet-prepared should disaster strike.

Hedgehog basics

Yuki the hedgehog

We introduced you to our hedgehog Yuki awhile back, and many of you have reached out with questions on if they make good pets, and if then need special care.

Hedgehogs do make great pets, but there are some things you need to know. They are nocturnal, and they do need patience as they get used to you and being handled. They can be grumpy sometimes, but that is just part of the charm. Here are some of the things they will need to be happy:

Heat and Light

Hedgehogs have special heating needs, they like things warm, and it’s important to keep a a hedgehog’s cage between 72 and 80 degrees F. It can be dangerous, and even fatal, for a hedgehog to get colder than 70 degrees. The drop in temperature can cause a hibernation attempt. Domestic hedgehogs can’t hibernate safely, so it’s very important to avoid these attempts.

The easiest way to keep your hedgehog happy is to use a space heater in the room. Be sure to keep a thermometer in the cage so you can be sure the temp is right.

Because they are nocturnal, hedgehogs do best with a consistent source of light for about 12-14 hours each day. It’s a good idea to have a light with a timer near the cage. Light is important to avoid triggering a hibernation attempt.

Housing

Solid-sided cages (like large plastic bins without lids) retain heat better and have smooth floors so feet and toes don’t get stuck, and are easy to keep clean. They are also relatively cheap compared to other options since you won’t have to make adjustments for safety.

Accessories

Your hedgehog will need a solid plastic wheel to run in. They love to run, so this is not just a toy, this is essential to their health and happiness. Make sure that your wheel is solid plastic as well to avoid toes getting stuck and injured.

They also enjoy having a hideaway (a plastic igloo is a great choice), and will spend time sleeping in it during the day time. This helps them feel safe. Take both of these items into account when picking a bin so there is still room to roam.

Hedgehogs like to climb, but unsupervised climbing should be prevented to avoid injuries from falls. This is another reason why large plastic bins make great houses, the sides don’t allow for climbing. Large, clear Sterilite bins (105 quart) are our choice, just leave the lid off. Tanks and aquariums should be avoided.

Since hedgehogs are generally solitary, it’s best not to house two together.

Diet

The ideal hedgehog food is actually made for cats! Commercial hedgehog foods should be avoided since they lack the nutrition needed.

High quality dry cat food is the best choice. Hedgehogs can be picky eaters, so you might have to try a few before finding one your hedgie loves. Yuki likes Purina Cat Chow Naturals, and we were lucky because it was the first food we tried and she loved it.

Your hedgehog will also need fresh mealworms (buy them at the pet store) as a supplement to dry cat food. Feed a few each day, 3-5 depending on the size of the mealworm. Do not feed freeze dried insects to avoid digestion problems, some very serious that can lead to death. Also avoid insects from your garden or other natural areas as they might contain pesticides.

Bedding

The two best choices for bedding are paper based bedding, or fabric liners made of fleece (easy to make yourself by cutting fleece to size). We like the paper based bedding best because it gives the hedgehog a chance to burrow and dig around. Bedding should be changed 1-2 times a week, and the wheel will need to be cleaned daily.

Wood shavings should NOT be used, because they can cause respiratory issues.

Handling

Your hedgehog will need a lot of handling to become more friendly. This is best done in the evening when they are starting to wake up. And of course, just like people, they each have their own personalities! You might get lucky like we did and have a hedgie that likes you right away, or you might get a grumpier hedgie that needs more time to warm up to you. It helps if you “scoop” them up under their tummies when lifting them. Continue to pick them up, even when they prickle and roll into a ball.

We have enjoyed visiting a hedgehog forum called Hedgehog Central for when we have questions, they are a great resource for all new owners.

Introducing Yuki, our albino hedgehog

There’s a new little face in our household, and we are excited to introduce her to you! We recently adopted an albino hedgehog. We named her Yuki because she looks like a little snowball, and yuki means snow in Japanese.

Yuki the hedgehog

We will be sharing more about how to care for hedgies soon, but for now we just wanted to pop in quickly to introduce her to you all!